Publication - Consultation paper

Non-domestic rates - procedures in proposals and valuation notices etc: consultation

Published: 22 Sep 2021

A consultation on draft regulations and orders required for procedures in proposals, content of valuation notices, the publication of the draft valuation roll etc.

Non-domestic rates - procedures in proposals and valuation notices etc: consultation
Part 4: Draft Valuation Timetable (Scotland) Amendment (No. 2) Order 2022

Part 4: Draft Valuation Timetable (Scotland) Amendment (No. 2) Order 2022

27. The 1995 Order needs to be amended to reflect provisions of the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1975, as inserted by the Non-Domestic Rates (Scotland) Act 2020, which enable the move to a two-stage appeal system of challenge. These are sections 3ZA and 3ZB of the 1975 Act[3]. The amendments will be made by the Valuation Timetable (Scotland) Amendment (No.2) Order 2022 ("the Valuation Timetable Amendment (No.2) Order").

28. The draft Valuation Timetable Amendment (No. 2) Order sets out the last dates for lodging a proposal:

  • in relation to a valuation notice received, including where there is thought to be an error in the entry as set out in the valuation notice, this is 31 July in the year of revaluation or 4 months after the date on which the notice was sent, whichever is later;
  • if a person becomes the owner, tenant or occupier of a property, this is 4 months after the date on which they become owner or occupier; or
  • if there is a material change of circumstances (MCC), this is 4 months after the date on which the MCC first occurred

29. The draft Valuation Timetable Amendment (No. 2) Order also sets out the deadline for the assessor to make a decision on a proposal, whichever is the later of the following dates:

  • 30 June the year before the next revaluation year
  • 30 June the year in which the proposal is made
  • 12 months after the proposal is made.

30. Assessors must then issue the 'proposal determination date' (PDD) to the proposer (they must then issue a decision on the proposal on or before the PDD but can postpone the date, in the same way a VAC can postpone a hearing). The PDD can be no later than the last date set out above under the draft Valuation Timetable Amendment (No. 2) Order for the assessor to issue a decision on a proposal. This differs depending on when the proposal was lodged (as is the case with appeals currently). It is the date of the PDD which triggers statutory information-sharing timescales between parties under the draft Valuation (Proposals Procedure) (Scotland) Regulations 2022. This is similar to the way the VAC Secretary currently issues a notice for the hearing date of an appeal (which cannot be later than the deadline for disposing of appeals under the 1995 Order, and this triggers information-sharing requirements between the parties.

31. Thirdly, the Valuation Timetable (Amendment) (No. 2) Order sets out that assessors must notify the proposer of the PDD, 70 days at least before said date. This is shorter than the current 105-day citation period for appeals by VACs, but reflects the Appeals sub-group's comment that "the current 105-day period (increased from 70 days in 2017) had not led to significant improvements in the appeals system, and agreed that within a three-year revaluation cycle, a 70-day notification period for the PDD would be sufficient."

32. Fourthly, it sets out the last date for lodging a complaint[4] – 31 July in the year of revaluation or 4 months after the relevant notice was sent to the owner or occupier of the property, whichever is later.

33. It then provides for the last date for lodging an appeal, which can only be done if a proposal has already been made, and in prescribed circumstances. Once a proposal has been lodged, the proposer may lodge an appeal if the assessor alters the entry other than in accordance with the proposal or a subsequent agreement, or does not alter the entry (either explicitly in their decision, or because they do not respond within the statutory timescales). An appeal cannot be lodged if the assessor alters the entry in the roll in accordance with the proposal or with a subsequent agreement with the proposer. The last date for lodging an appeal is:

  • If a decision has been made by the assessor, this deadline is 14 days after the decision is issued
  • If a PDD was issued but no decision is issued by the assessor and the PDD was not postponed, this is 14 days after the PDD.
  • If no PDD is issued, the last dateis 14 days after the beginning of the period of 70 days before the last date for the assessor to issue notice of a decision on the proposal. This is because the assessor is required to issue a PDD notice a minimum of 70 days before the PDD and the PDD cannot be later later than the deadline date described in para 29 of this consultation.

34. Finally, this instrument removes the disposal deadline of appeals by VACs as these will no longer exist from 1 January 2023. Appeals will from this date be heard by the Scottish Tribunals, even if ongoing at that date. As the Local Taxation Chamber will take on this caseload they will actively manage these cases, so a fixed deadline for disposals is not required.

35. This Order requires to come into force on 1 January 2023. The timing of its laying in parliament is contingent on the laying of the regulations transferring VAC functions to the Scottish Tribunals as well as The Valuation (Proposals Procedure) (Scotland) Regulations 2022.

Question 3 - Do you have any comments on the draft Valuation Timetable (Scotland) Amendment (No. 2) Order 2022?


Contact

Email: ndr@gov.scot